Environmental Groups Protecting Water Quality
Ontario Lake Partner Program
The Ontario Lakes Program is a province-wide, volunteer-based, water-quality monitoring program. Volunteers collect water samples to be tested for total phosphorus and make monthly water clarity observations on their lakes. This information will allow the early detection of changes in the nutrient status and/or the water clarity of the lake due to the impacts of shoreline development, climate change and other stresses.
The goal of the program is to protect the quality of Ontario's inland lakes by involving citizens in a volunteer-based water quality monitoring program.
Stewardship Group Stretches Scope
Trail guide among new initiatives
By Gord Young (North Bay Nugget)
The Lake Nipissing Stewardship Council stepped out of the boat and onto the shore Thursday, unveiling a new name and logo to tie in with an expanded mandate.
The organization, founded more than a decade ago by volunteers concerned about the health of the lake and its fisheries, has expanded its scope beyond Lake Nipissing.
Renamed the Greater Nipissing Stewardship Council, the group also unveiled it latest initiative during a news conference at the North Bay-Mattawa Conservation Authority. Developed with local partners, including Discovery Routes and Ontario Ministry of Health Promotion, the new Trail Guide for Healthy Living will map out area trails and promote physical fitness.
Council chairman John Thornton said the expanded role of the organization is the result of a Ministry of Natural Resources push, encouraging the establishment of stewardship groups in every region in the province. In addition to a paid co-ordinator, Thornton said the province will also provide the group with a $10,000 annual operating grant.
"We're completely independent of the province," said Thornton, noting the group makes its own decisions about what projects and initiatives it will take on.
But East Ferris Mayor Bill Vrebosch, who was among the many politicians and dignitaries to attend the event, raised concerns about the expanded role the council will play within the district.
"Is this the new face of the MNR?" he asked, worried the council will be taking on duties that the cash-strapped ministry has had to abandon.
He noted the local office on Trout Lake Road is now closed to the public and the only place to make contact with the ministry is at the government offices on McKeown Avenue. Vrebosch said money has been so tight, conservation officers have complained they don't have enough cash to put gasoline in their vehicles.
But Thornton, although he admits funding is tight, said the council won't be doing the work of ministry staff. He said some projects may be initiatives that would have been led by the ministry many years ago. But he said today's fiscal reality requires more community involvement.
" I think we screwed up years ago by not getting involved," said Thornton, noting the ministry operated for too long without public input into forestry and lake management issues.
Lake Nipissing Stewardship Council Receives MNR Funding
By Kate Adams
Tuesday, May 15, 2007
Lake Nipissing Stewardship Council
John Thornton, Chair, Lake Nipissing Stewardship Council (LNSC), was presented with a cheque for $10,000 from Randy Morrison, Area Supervisor with the Ministry of Natural Resources North Bay District during the Council's annual general meeting held at the Elks Club on May 9th. This annual seed funding is provided through the ministry's Ontario Stewardship Program, in support of the LNSC's mandate.
John Thornton, stated that “These annual grants provide stable support to the council in working with its partners to leverage additional funds and implementing natural resource projects in the region.”
The LNSC, formed in 1999, joined the Ontario Stewardship Program in July, 2006, as part of that program's expansion into northern Ontario. This has resulted in the Council working on expanding its mandate and area of coverage from being mainly focused on the Lake Nipissing fishery to now include the waters, wetlands, agricultural and forest lands for a much larger geographical region. The region extends from the Ottawa River in the east to Highway 535 and Cross Lake in the west and from Marten River in the north to Noelville and Trout Creek in the south.
The LNSC is a registered, non-profit, charitable corporation that works closely with other partners to implement environmental programs, provide information related to conservation and natural resource sustainability, and increase awareness of the Lake Nipissing and region ecosystem. The Directors are a diverse group of stakeholders that includes municipalities, government ministries, tourism associations, environmental groups, angler and hunter groups, First Nations and the public-at-large.